No, EPA did not propose affordability guidelines for municipal utilitiesAffordability!Late last week the EPA published in the Federal Register some proposed new guidelines for evaluating sewer utilities’ financial strength. In press releases and public


​Sovereignty isn’t what’s on paper, it’s what flows through taps and riversEnvironmental sovereignty (Photo: nativenewsonline.net)America is slowly awakening to the dire state of tribal water and sewer systems. Access to drinking water and sanitation


​During a public health crisis, getting the research right is paramountBeware the confundus charm​It started with a tweet.A new peer-reviewed Utilities Policy article on water utility ownership, low-income households, and shutoffs? From a pair


How the federal government might end shutoffs & keep water flowing during the COVID-19 crisis Can't do this if your water has been shut off.The COVID-19 crisis has escalated America’s water and sewer affordability


​A five-point proposal to transform the U.S. water sectorAs daunting as the challenges in the U.S. water sector are, solutions are possible and within our grasp. Thanks to legions of smart, creative scientists and


Water Sector Reform #5: Environmental JusticePhoto credit: EJCW.orgWith a major federal investment in water infrastructure possibly on the horizon, the United States has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage that money into a structural transformation of


Black, White, and Hispanic Americans experience water utility service differentlyThese women all seem happy with their water. But what discontents lurk behind those smiles?Over the past couple of years there’s been a growing recognition


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 5The ironic regressivity of a luxury taxIn early January the California Water Board (SWRCB) published its long-anticipated draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. I’ve


Devils (and angels) in the details, Part 3In early January the California Water Board released its draft proposal for a statewide low-income water bill assistance program. My last couple posts summarized the proposal and


A reasonable expectationWhat low-income households pay for essential service in the United StatesThis post reports findings from 2017; an update for 2019 is available here.Over the past 18 months I’ve been working to develop


Another way in which it’s tough to be poorBetter with more moneyDrinking water utilities are great, but they aren’t perfect. Sometimes there are problems. Do those problems occur randomly? Or are there observable patterns


Can declaring a human right to water help address affordability?Something extraordinary is unfolding in California.In 2012, to great fanfare, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 685, which amended the state’s water